PHOTOS: It's Almost Here -- Workers Make Final Arts Festival Preparations
When he's finished, Greg Glenn's sports-themed sand sculpture will undoubtedly delight Arts Festival visitors to his corner of Sidney Friedman Parklet. But late Tuesday morning, he appeared to be more blue-collar worker than artist.
"People don't usually see the first day," Glenn, shovel in hand and water hose at the ready, said while preparing the raw material dumped by front-end loader for his creative endeavor. "It's like digging a ditch the first day."
Glenn, a resident of San Luis Obispo, Calif., was not alone Tuesday. In the parklet, all along South Allen Street and on the Old Main lawn on campus, final preparations were being made for Wednesday's Children and Youth Day opening of the 45th annual Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.
"Are we having fun?" Bob Fox of Landscape II design architects asked rhetorically as the sun beat down on his work crew, which included the heavily bearded John McCartney, of Eagleville. "Twenty-seven years of this, me and him. Yeah, we're having fun."
Others appeared ready for the fun to begin, however, as one young woman exited a nearby building and volunteered to be the first to be doused under the dumping buckets booth the men were working on.
And nearby, Joe Elwell, of Miami, Fla., was readying the teriyaki chicken booth.
He didn't mind Tuesday's heat so much. He's from Florida, after all. But how did Elwell – proudly wearing a University of Miami cap – feel about being in Penn State Nittany Lion territory?
"It's OK," he said. "It's Ohio State we don't like."
Harlan Hanson had help from his wife and assorted nieces and nephews in setting up Hanson's Original Kettle Corn tent in the parklet.
"And Sno-Cones this weekend," he said of an additional offering that should prove to be as refreshing as the dumping buckets a few blocks away.
Yes, he conceded, folks who attend the festival rarely see how much work goes into building the infrastructure, creating the artwork and crafts and preparing the food booths. But blissful ignorance can work both ways.
"We don't know what the parking situation is like," he said, smiling, "because we're here first."